India-China border stand-off: Chinese envoy calls for settling amicably, invokes close ties

In a reassuring message to New Delhi amid a prolonged standoff between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh, China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong has expressed hope that the two sides could settle the current impasse amicably and underlined that the Elephant (India) and Dragon (China) can dance and stay friends despite differences. Mr Sun stressed that India and China could unlock immense opportunities for the well-being of their people by staying friends and temporary impediments should not come in the way of their civilizational ties. “The Dragon and the Elephant can dance together. We should never let differences overshadow our relations. We should resolve differences through communication,” the Ambassador said.

Mr Sun’s remarks were significant and signalled Beijing’s desire to reduce tensions after both sides have amassed troops at the border following a series of spats between the border guards over the past few weeks in Ladakh.  While there are established military mechanisms to resolve local confrontations, this time around both sides have refused to back off from their respective positions.“China and India are fighting together against COVID-19 and we have an important task to consolidate relations. Our youth should realise the relation between China and India; the two countries are opportunities for each other and pose no threat,” said the Chinese envoy, who has been an ardent advocate for stronger India-China relationship and a supporter of robust people-to-people ties.

His statement came close on the heels of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian who said that the situation at the border is “overall stable and controllable”. He added that both countries have communication channels to resolve disputes through consultation. Mr Zhao said that China has maintained a consistent position on the border issue.The Indian and Chinese troops are reportedly locked in face-off at several places along the border such as Pangong Tso in Sikkim, and Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldie in Ladakh. However, the Indian government has not confirmed whether there are tensions or troop build-up at these places.

Some news reports, however, claimed that efforts have been made from both sides to resolve the matter through talks but so far has not yielded any result. It was reported that around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a violent confrontation on May 5 over encroachment of their respective territories.  Some 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were reportedly injured in the fight. In 2017, troops from India and China were engaged in a 73-day military stand-off at Doklam, a tri-junction between India, China, and Bhutan. The issue was resolved after interventions from the political leadership of the two countries.

Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldie in Ladakh. However, the Indian government has not confirmed whether there are tensions or troop build-up at these places.Some news reports, however, claimed that efforts have been made from both sides to resolve the matter through talks but so far has not yielded any result.It was reported that around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a violent confrontation on May 5 over encroachment of their respective territories. Some 100 Indian and Chinese soldiers were reportedly injured in the fight.In 2017, troops from India and China were engaged in a 73-day military stand-off at Doklam, a tri-junction between India, China, and Bhutan. The issue was resolved after interventions from the political leadership of the two countries.

 

 

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